What is RF Gain on a CB Radio?

RF Gain is an important feature that is often overlooked or unused on a CB radio. What it does isn't clear to many users. Because of this, it is not always used to the full potential. In this article we will explain it a little better.

RF Gain control on a Cobra 29 LTD Classic CB Radio 

RF Gain control on a Cobra 29 LTD Classic


How to use RF Gain

RF gain is used just like squelch. When the RF gain knob is rotated all the way counter clockwise (to the left) it is filtering out all but the strongest signals. When it is rotated all the way clockwise, it is full open, letting in strong and weak signals alike. The idea is that when you start full open and slowing rotate the knob counter clockwise, you will gradually filter out the weaker signals and gain better reception on strong ones.

The RF Gain control enables the user to adjust the receiver on the CB radio. The adjustment opens and closes the receiver on the CB Radio so the user can listen to local or distant conversations. This is an important feature because it enables the user to also quiet the radio with out using the squelch control. CB Radios that do not have an RF Gain control are only equipped with a squelch control to quiet the static. The squelch control is used to adjust the hiss and static of atmospheric noise. When the Squelch control is used to quiet the radio it also dramatically reduces the receive range.

On CB radio’s with an RF Gain feature you can disengage the squelch entirely and utilize the RF Gain to quiet the radio without giving up all your receive range. When a CB does not have an RF gain, it is essentially the same as a radio that has RF gain with it set all the way open.

RF gain can be thought of as a more advanced squelch. This and other more advanced sound filters on more expensive CB radios pay for themselves by allowing users to tune in signals they wouldn't be able to hear on a more basic radio.